Album Review: “Underneath These Dying Stars” by Color Theory “Taking us on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of Human Emotion, Shadows of the Soul, in the Neon Glow of Nostalgia

Album Review: “Underneath These Dying Stars” by Color Theory “Taking us on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of Human Emotion, Shadows of the Soul, in the Neon Glow of Nostalgia
Written By: Dan Eachus

In the realm of Synthpop and Synthwave, few artists have captured the essence of these genres as masterfully as Color Theory. Brian Hazard, the genius behind this project, has consistently delivered electrifying sonic experiences throughout his extensive career. His latest offering, the 13th studio album titled “Underneath These Dying Stars,” takes us on a mesmerizing journey into the depths of human emotion and the shadows of the soul, all while bathed in the neon glow of 80s nostalgia. Set to be released on October 6th, 2023, this album is nothing short of a poignant masterpiece.

“Underneath These Dying Stars” is a departure from the Color Theory we’ve come to know and love. It’s a musical odyssey that delves into darker, more introspective territory, yet it’s peppered with glimpses of optimism. Hazard’s willingness to explore the intricacies of the human spirit is evident throughout the album, making it a deeply personal and emotionally charged work of art.

The album opens with a ray of hope in the form of “Crystal,” a track that Hazard himself describes as possibly his most hopeful song to date. From the very beginning, listeners are greeted with lush synth arrangements that transport them to a bygone era, while Hazard’s emotive vocals draw them in. “Crystal” sets the stage for the rollercoaster of emotions that await, immediately hinting at the contrasting themes that will define the album.

As we delve deeper into the album, tracks like “Trick of the Light” and “If You Want Me To” continue to explore the shadows of human experience. Hazard’s lyrical prowess shines here, painting vivid pictures of love, loss, and the complexity of human relationships. Each song is a carefully crafted narrative, and it’s impossible not to get lost in the stories he weaves.

The album takes a darker turn with “The Darkness” and “Death Machine,” where the synthpop elements give way to a more brooding and atmospheric soundscape. The influence of darkwave is palpable, adding an extra layer of depth and complexity to the music. “The Rot” further solidifies this shift in tone, with its haunting melodies and evocative lyrics.

Just when you think you’ve descended into the abyss, “The Serious One” emerges as a glimmer of light, showcasing Hazard’s ability to balance darkness with moments of optimism. The track’s infectious energy and catchy melodies are a testament to his songwriting prowess.

“She’s Made of Wires” and “Wrath” continue to explore the album’s dark and enigmatic themes. The former captivates with its ethereal soundscapes, while the latter packs a powerful punch with its intense, driving rhythm.

“Cakewalk” introduces a playful element to the album, featuring whimsical synth patterns and a sense of whimsy. It serves as a delightful interlude before we descend once again into the hauntingly beautiful “The Darkroom,” a fitting conclusion to this mesmerizing musical journey.

What sets “Underneath These Dying Stars” apart from its predecessors is not just its thematic depth but also its sonic quality. Hazard’s meticulous attention to detail and his ability to craft intricate synth arrangements have never been more evident. The album’s production is a testament to his growth as an artist, with each track meticulously layered and polished to perfection.

Furthermore, this album marks a significant moment in Hazard’s career as he takes the reins on the design and layout aspects, bringing a holistic vision to life. The visual elements complement the music, enhancing the overall listening experience and immersing the audience even further into the world of Color Theory.

With over 15 million plays across streaming platforms and a John Lennon Songwriting Contest grand prize under his belt, Color Theory has consistently proven his prowess in the synthpop and synthwave genres. “Underneath These Dying Stars” is a testament to his evolution as both a musician and a storyteller. It’s an album that invites us to explore the depths of our own emotions while reveling in the timeless allure of 80s synthpop.

In conclusion, “Underneath These Dying Stars” is a sonic journey that transcends the boundaries of time and genre. It’s an album that embraces darkness, yet never loses sight of the flickering light of hope. Brian Hazard’s ability to craft music that resonates on a deeply emotional level is nothing short of extraordinary, and this album stands as a testament to his artistry. As you immerse yourself in the haunting melodies and evocative lyrics of “Underneath These Dying Stars,” be prepared for a transformative and cathartic experience that only Color Theory can provide. This album is not just music; it’s a vivid exploration of the human soul.

Dan Eachus is the President and co-owner of RetroSynth Lazersteel Records, with his own musical projects in the band Neutron Dreams and his solo project DMME.
About The Author